By Patrick Austen-Hardy
AFC Portchester manager Mick Catlin believes Portland Town goalscorer Stephen Walker should not
have even been on the pitch, as the Royals winless streak extended to 10 games after slipping to a
2-1 home defeat.
The game was still young when Walker charged down Adam Cripps and caught him with a very high
tackle, but Walker did not even get a booking for the challenge.
He would then go on to score Portland’s vital second goal minutes after Jamie Symes converted from
close range to make up for his saved penalty in the first half.
Catlin believes the referee was wrong to not send Walker off.
“I thought Steven Walker should have got a straight red in the early part of the game for an out of
control tackle,” said the Royals manager.
“We lost Craig Hardy at Horndean a couple of weeks ago for a similar tackle which was a straight
red, in the first ten minutes.
“I don’t think it matters when it is in the game, I think it was out of control and reckless and we felt
that he should have got a red card for it.”
The Royals started the game extremely well and created the best chances after Charlie Searle saved
from Jamie Symes penalty in the first half.
However, Portland scored two goals in the first 15 minutes of the second half, and took control of
The home side threatened a late comeback when Liam Komber came off the bench to finish of a well
worked team goal in the 82nd minute, but it Portland did enough to see out the victory.
Catlin thought his side were the stronger of the sides in the first half, but believes that the tables
were turned in the second.
“Going in at half-time we felt quite positive, we thought we played the better football in the first
half,” said Catlin.
“In the second half it was a different story we stopped doing that and gave away two sloppy goals
from our part and lacked concentration.
“We got ourselves back in the game with a well worked goal, which we felt if we did more of that we
would have probably exploited their weaknesses.
“We ran out of ideas in the end.”
Catlin has now set his sights on Tuesday’s match against 14 th placed Lymington Town who beat
Baffins Milton Rovers 3-1 on Saturday.